The Office of African American Male Achievement (AAMA) at Seattle Public Schools works to ensure that the educational environment across the Seattle public school system supports the brilliance and excellence of Black boys and teens. AAMA works to reconstruct school systems and structures to advance public education as a tool for transformation and liberation, and create a strong learning environment.
Culture: rituals, routines, and practices that honor students’ strengths. In collaboration with students, staff, families, and the community, AAMA will use transformative antiracist practices to disrupt patterns of systemic racism and rebuild the school system to support the advancement of Black boys and teens in education and life.
Conditions: policies, structures, and systems that support welcoming and safe learning spaces. AAMA works with district leadership, the school board, and school leaders to develop and implement policies, structures, and systems that support healthy development and learning for all Black boys and teens.
Competencies: skills and knowledge that educators need to reach and teach Black boys and teens. The district is committed to increasing integrated training on implicit bias, institutional and structural racism, and cultural competency; and growing the percentage of African American male educators and leaders in the district.
Community Connection: direct supports and networking opportunities for students to thrive. As part of SPS’s commitment to Black boys and teens, SPS will ensure that they receive the direct service supports, and community networking opportunities they need to navigate, thrive, and succeed not only in Seattle Public Schools but in life.
The Alliance for Education brings together community to invest in educators and schools. With 25 years of leadership, the Alliance has built relationships and partnerships that provide monetary grants and showcase the leadership of educators working tirelessly to support students, with a focus on those committed to advancing racial equity.
Spotlight: Foster Award
Every year, two outstanding school leaders are surprised – often in front of their whole school –with the Thomas B. Foster Award for Excellence. The award recognizes and honors outstanding Seattle Public Schools principals who have demonstrated success in advancing racial equity and educational justice to improve outcomes in their school setting. In addition to public recognition, each honoree receives $25,000 to be utilized on behalf of their school community.
The award was established by the Alliance for Education in honor of the late Thomas B. Foster, a Seattle attorney and senior partner of the Foster Pepper law firm. Mr. Foster exemplified excellence in his profession during a career which spanned the last half of the 20th century and had a personal commitment to public education. Endowed by the Foster family, the Foster Award has been offered to 19 SPS principals since 2000.